Can the UN Really be Reformed?
by Rep. Ron Paul, MD by Rep. Ron Paul, MD
Congress voted last week to give the United Nations unprecedented new authority to intervene in sovereign states, under the guise of UN “reform.” The reform bill theoretically provides for Congress to withhold 50% of US dues to the UN, but this will never happen. The bill allows the Secretary of State to make the ultimate decision about payment, and the State department strongly opposes withholding our dues in the first place. In fact, the State department is the UN’s closest ally in the entire federal government. This talk about withholding our dues is nothing but hot air designed to dupe real conservatives outside Washington into believing Congress is getting tough with the UN. Nothing could be further from the truth. Both the congressional leadership and the Bush administration are firmly committed to globalism, as evidenced not only by their commitment to the UN, but also by their position on trade agreements like CAFTA. Mark my words, in five years nobody will be talking about UN reform and our dues payments will be higher than ever.
The supposed reform bill will not change the bureaucratic nature of the UN, nor will it transform the nations of the world into wise, benevolent, selfless actors. It will, however, expand the UN’s role as world policeman and establish the precursor to a UN army. If you don’t think American armed forces should serve under a UN command, you should know that the reform bill establishes a “Peacekeeping Commission” charged with bolstering the UN’s ability to respond with military force to conflicts around the globe — even in wholly internal conflicts that do not affect the US in the slightest.
Many conservatives have bought into the neoconservative dream of using the UN as a tool to advance an aggressive US foreign policy. But granting more power to the UN can only serve the interests of globalists, who see national sovereignty as an obstacle to their goals. The more we involve ourselves with the UN, the more we entangle ourselves in the affairs of other nations to our own detriment. America has nothing to show for our 60 years in the UN except for tens of thousands of dead or injured soldiers, and hundreds of billions of wasted tax dollars. The 20th century — the UN century — was the bloodiest in the world’s history. We must stop fooling ourselves that the UN is an instrument of world peace.
The problem is not that the UN is corrupt, or ineffective, or run by scoundrels. The real problem is that the UN is inherently illegitimate, because supra-national government is an inherently illegitimate concept. Legitimate governments operate only by the consent of those they govern. Yet it is ludicrous to suggest that billions of people across the globe have in any way consented to UN governance, or have even the slightest influence over their own governments. The UN is perhaps the least democratic institution imaginable, but both Democrats and Republicans insist on using it to “promote democracy.” We should stop worrying about the UN and simply walk away from it by withdrawing our membership and our money. We should demand a return to real national sovereignty, and respect other nations by rejecting our failed interventionist foreign policy. By doing so we would make the world a more peaceful place.
Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.